Monday, 15 June 2009

Ham Wall RSPB (14th June)

Left home at 7.20am and reached the coordinates at about 9.20 - but the coordinates were wrong but I eventually found the right place.

I parked in the car park and tried to find directions to the bird but nobody was particularly precise. After walking around the wrong loop once, where at least I could look at the damselflies and dragonflies, I eventually found the place where the Little Bittern had been seen.

What now followed was a very long wait [7.5 hours - a new record] in the searing heat - I am well and truly sun burnt! During this time the Little Bittern was heard to call fairly frequently up to lunch time but very little after this until about 5.30 ish (call is a low "bock" repeated at intervals).

While waiting for the Little Bittern to show I had plenty of time to look around for anything else. There were very large numbers of Blue-tailed Damselflies and a few Azure Damselflies. Also 1 Banded Demoiselle, large numbers of Four-spotted Chasers and a few Black-tailed Skimmers but best of all was 2 female Hairy Dragonflies - one of which I managed to photograph at very close quarters.

Bird wise there were a few distant Buzzards and a couple of hunting Hobbies. Also here was a Little Egret, Kingfisher and Cuckoo.

Best of all, this place appeared to be a very good area for Bitterns which later in the day were seen flying over the reeds. I had two in the Little Bittern spot, one near to the entrance track and then one on the other side of the road towards Noah Hide. There were lots of Cetti's Warblers calling around the reserve, but I can't recall seeing one.

Finally at about 5.40 the Little Bittern started calling very close to path and suddenly someone called that they had it. "Its poking it's head of the reeds" he said. After panickly scanning the reeds and then spotted it - it was so obvious. It had climbed almost to the top of the reeds at a distance of about 10 feet (amazing to see a large bird like that hardly bending the reed it was clinging to). The pinkish breast, dagger like reddish-yellow bill and black crown were seen very well. After a couple of minutes in then flew low right, over the path, and onto the marsh on the other side. Saw the large creamy white patches on the wings as it flew.

I finally then went to Noah's Hide to try and see an Otter but without any success. I was getting tired and needed to get home, otherwise I would have stayed longer.

1 comment:

  1. It reads like you had a long day but worth it ultimately!